Received through BookMooch.com.
I have what you might call a strange job: I find dead people. I can sense the final location of a person who's passed and share their very last moment. The way I see it, I'm providing a service to the dead while bringing some closure to the living—but I'm used to most people treating me like a blood-sucking leech...
Harper and her stepbrother Tolliver are experts at getting in, getting paid, and then getting out of town fast, because the people who hire Harper have a funny habit of not really wanting to know what she has to tell them. At first, the little Ozarks town of Sarne seems like no exception. A teenage girl has gone missing, and Harper knows almost immediately that this girl is dead. But the secrets of her death, and the secrets of the town, are deep enough that even Harper's special ability can't uncover them. With hostility welling up all around them, she and Tolliver would like nothing better than to be on their way. But then another woman is murdered. And the killer's not finished yet...
Harper Connelly sees dead people.... Actually she doesn't see them so much as feel them... in her head and in her bones when they are near. Because of this special ability, she is called in to help various law enforcement officials across the South in locating missing bodies. When her and her step-brother Tolliver, who also acts as her business manager, are called in to help find a body in Sarne, Arkansas, they get a lot more than they bargain for.... And more than just a single dead body....
This was a fairly decent start to what looks to be another interesting mystery series by Charlaine Harris. I can't say I loved it, but I did like it a lot. :-) Ms. Harris is a good writer. She doesn't make stupid mistakes, and she is good at pulling the reader into her world and drawing the people and places so they feel they are there. She doesn't over-describe or bog you down with details either, so the dialogue is punchy and the action is swift.
I had a good idea who was behind what was going on in Sarne, so I only wish Ms. Harris had thrown in a red-herring or two to keep me off the trail, since I wasn't all that surprised at the end, having figured things out, even the clues left behind, before Harper and Tolliver did.
I'll be looking forward to reading Grave Surprise, the next book in the Harper Connelly mystery series.
This is reserved for Apolonia, who won it in the December Mystery Swap on BSL.